Spotify is bringing back simplified mobile design as ‘Car Mode’
Spotify used to offer a simplified view for its Android and iOS mobile apps, called ‘Car View,’ which had larger buttons and text for easier access when driving. The functionality was removed last year, but now it seems Spotify is bringing it back with an updated design and a new name.
9to5Google spotted the new design on Thursday, which is being tested with some subscribers using Android devices. When you connect to a car with Bluetooth audio, the app asks if you want to use Car Mode. If you accept, the app switches into a simplified view, similar to the original Car View. Unlike the older design, the new Car Mode doesn’t hide the home view or search tab, so it’s definitely more useful.
Even though most of the app remains accessible in Car Mode, there are several changes throughout the experience. The search is voice-only, because typing when you’re supposed to be driving is a terrible idea, and the player screen has fewer buttons.
Following the original report from 9to5Google, Spotify confirmed to TechCrunch on Friday that it’s testing the new Car Mode. The company said in a statement, “At Spotify, we’re always working to ensure our users have the best possible listening experience. We can confirm we are testing a new Car Mode for some users. As with any of our tests, we always seek feedback from our users before rolling out changes more broadly.”
Spotify has been experimenting with other car integrations in recent history, including a dedicated car player called ‘Car Thing’ that has been sold in limited quantities. Spotify also works with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, but not all cars have those modes, leaving plenty of room for smartphone-based alternative interfaces like Spotify Car Mode.